Nantz named Honorary Thunderbird at Ak-Chin tee-off luncheon

Jim Nantz, center, was named an Honorary Thunderbird at the recent tee-off ceremony held at Camelback Inn. (Submitted photo)

Jim Nantz, center, was named an Honorary Thunderbird at the recent tee-off ceremony held at Camelback Inn. (Submitted photo)

Emmy-Award winning CBS Sports commentator Jim Nantz was made an Honorary Thunderbird at a special induction ceremony held recently at Camelback Inn prior to the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community Tee-Off Luncheon.

Mr. Nantz joins a select group of 34 other individuals who have been named Honorary Thunderbirds in the organization’s history, including Sandra Day O’Connor last year, as well as legends such as Bing Crosby, Ben Hogan, Bob Hope, Phil Mickelson, Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, a press release states.

“Jim Nantz is a true legend in golf broadcasting and is a great friend of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and The Thunderbirds,” said Thunderbirds Big Chief Danny Calihan in a prepared statement. “We are honored to have Jim become a part of our organization and excited to include him with a great group of honorary Thunderbirds.”

Mr. Nantz claimed back-to-back Emmy Awards for outstanding play-by-play personality in 2008 and 2009.

His career highlights include anchoring CBS’ coverage of the Masters since 1989, calling the NCAA Final Four Men’s Basketball Finals since 1991, serving as the lead play-by-play for the NFL on CBS since 2004, and being a part of five Super Bowl broadcasts.

“This is truly one of the greatest honors of my career and my life to be a member of a group like this that is so passionate, so giving and so caring and gives back so much to the game and this community,” Mr. Nantz said during the Tee-Off Luncheon.

The 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open, known as “The Greatest and Greenest Show on Grass,” will be held at TPC Scottsdale from Feb. 1-7, 2016. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the best-attended golf tournament in the world. The 2016 edition will mark the 81st playing of the event — one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR — and the seventh as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. Last year The Thunderbirds raised a record $9.06 million for charity and have eclipsed $102 million in charitable giving since its inception in 1932.

For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open, call the Thunderbirds office at 602-870-0163 or visit

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